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The Clinton Historical Society will be adding videos of selected program meetings, exhibits, and special events to the website as they become available. Click on each box below to revel and watch the video.

Presented by Patrick O’Hara. A descendant of the Rymph family, Patrick O’Hara spent the summer of 2022 visiting local cemeteries while researching his family tree. Mr. O’Hara cleaned over eighty cemetery markers, writing narratives about the deceased and posting them to social media — and in the process stimulating interest and discussion on the upkeep of local cemeteries. He will discuss how to safely clean a gravestone, the best cleaning solutions to use, and basic tools and techniques.

Presented by James Brands, Town Justice, Town of Clinton. Jim Brands is a direct descendant of Johannas George Rymph, the earliest known member of the Rymph family to migrate from Germany in the early 1760s. The family settled in Hyde Park and became emblematic of many of the founding families of the community. Judge Brands and his wife reside on the family farm on Rymph Road and a number of his ancestors have been buried in the Pleasant Plains Cemetery on Fiddlers Bridge Road.

Presented by Dr. Charles Canham, Senior Scientist Emeritus, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. Forests of the Hudson Valley have seen constant change throughout the more than 12,000 years since the retreat of the Pleistocene glaciers. Although humans have been responsible for the most important transformations, the most dramatic changes followed European settlement. The future of those forests will be shaped by a new set of forces, including climate change and the impact of forest pests and pathogens.

Presented by Dr. Vincent Cookingham. On Wednesday, November 26, 1930, the Germond family farm in Stanfordville, NY was the scene of a grisly murder of a small family: father, mother, son and, daughter. Killed on Thanksgiving Eve, the bodies would not be discovered for almost two days. Ever since neighbors issued the first alarm on November 28, 1930, the question of who murdered James Husted, Mabel, Raymond, and Bernice Germond has remained unanswered. Eighty-seven years later, Dr. Vincent Cookingham, a descendent of the Dutchess County Sheriff who initially investigated the crime came forward to re-examine the surviving evidence from this cold case, using the latest forensic methods.

Clinton town historian, Craig Marshall, talks about the history of the Clinton Community Library.

Clinton town historian, Craig Marshall, tells and shows how the Masonic Hall building was moved from its original location in Schultzville to its current location at the Clinton Town Hall complex.

Presented by A. J. Schenkman, Gardiner town historian. A. J. Schenkman has recently been named Best Author of 2022 by Hudson Valley Magazine for his book Patriots and Spies in Revolutionary New York. Mr. Schenkman is a prolific author on historical topics in the Hudson Valley. He is a teacher, popular historian, and frequent lecturer.

Presented by Chip Holman. Olin Dows (1904 – 1981) was raised at Glenburn in Rhinebeck and studied painting at Harvard and the Art Students League. A lifetime painter of Dutchess County scenery, he was a leader of Roosevelt’s Depression era art programs in public buildings and post offices. Chip will speak on Dows’ local work on the early 1930s and the period up to World War II. We are partnering with the Southlands Foundation which was founded by Olin Dows sister, Deborah Dows.

Presented by Crystal Middleton and Bob Schoch. A joint presentation by Crystal Middleton, program coordinator at the Clinton Community Library, and Bob Schoch, owner of Primrose Hill Farm, on local history in Clinton. Crystal will show a children’s educational program that she developed and Bob will talk about plans to permanently preserve the farm, its collection of farm equipment, and historical records of the Cookingham family.

Presented by Fred Schaefer. When he served as chairman of the Walkway Over the Hudson, Fred Schaeffer led the organization’s efforts to convert the abandoned railroad bridge into the Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park. Fred’s presentation includes a history of the Poughkeepsie–Highland Railroad Bridge and it’s conversion to the Walkway.

Presented by historian, speaker and writer Shannon Butler. Explore the Delano family and their rise to fame and fortune as the result of their involvement in the opium trade in China. Butler will offer her insights about the illegal business venture, including the Delano’s experiences during the Opium Wars and what they did with their wealth when they returned to the U.S. Eventually the fortune trickled down to Sara Delano Roosevelt and her son, 32nd President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Film and discussion led by Gregory Edmonds. In honor of Black History Month — Red-Tailed Angels: The Story of the Tuskegee Airmen, produced by the Pare Lorentz Center at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum, will precede a discussion led by Gregory Edmonds, President of the Ohio Memorial Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. The film was produced in 2006 and contains interviews with Tuskegee Airmen who are no longer with us.

Presented by Dr. Gray Brechin. Dr. Brechin is an historical geographer, the author of Imperial San Francisco, a frequent radio and television guest, and a popular public speaker. He is currently a visiting scholar in the U.C. Berkeley Department of Geography and founder and project scholar of the Living New Deal.

Dutchess County was transformed by President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal work relief agencies designed to lift the U.S. out of the Great Depression. From fine schools to roads and sewers, parks, post offices, and works of art still used and enjoyed eighty years on, it’s all around you but largely unseen. Dr. Gray Brechin will talk about the Living New Deal’s ongoing work to reveal a lost civilization whose creator lived at Hyde Park

Presented by Dick Coller, a longtime member of the Town of Clinton Historical Society and trustee emeritus. Dick will present an overview of how mankind has compensated for the uneven distribution of natural resources. For example, coal, petroleum, iron ore and building materials are mainly concentrated in relatively remote locations and must be brought to central utilization locations. This has always been a huge expenditure of labor and material, whether by water or animal-driven transport or railroads.

Presented by Bill Jeffway, Executive Director of Dutchess County Historical Society (DCHS), and Melodye Moore, Chair of DCHS Collections. Only Native People themselves can share the perspective, values, and history of their community. But there is a role for the non-native community as well in helping to protect and preserve archaeological sites and ensuring that our history is inclusive of a variety of perspectives. In addition to preservation priorities and methods, we’ll examine iconic examples of the “one story, one truth” model and discuss the tensions that can arise when balancing a wish to unite in a common identity involves the erasure of distinct communities

Presented by Jeri Diehl-Cusack, formerly of the Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Partnership. Meet three other women who married into the Roosevelt family: Eleanor’s grandmother, Martha Bullock “Mittie” Roosevelt, whom she never knew; Eleanor’s mother, Anna Rebecca Hall Roosevelt, whom she barely knew; and Eleanor’s mother-in-law, Sara Delano Roosevelt, whom she knew perhaps a bit too well.

Presented by Mott historian Professor Carol Faulkner. Lucretia Mott was viewed in her time as a dominant figure in the struggle for equality. She was the “moving spirit” of the first women’s rights convention at Seneca Falls and envisioned women’s rights as an extension of the universal principles of liberty and equality.

Presenter David Turner will speak on the many forgotten hamlets in the northern part of Dutchess County. Hear about the fascinating history of these locations. Included will be dozens of turn-of-the-century images of little-known hamlets from northern Dutchess County. In many cases he has before and after pictures of the buildings he will speak about—what their function once was and what it is today.

Presented by Jim Ormond, independent filmmaker. In 1929 Babe Ruth and the New York Yankees traveled to Sing Sing to play an exhibition game against the inmate team. Ruth blasted a fastball with such a force that it cleared the prison’s 40-foot wall. This new documentary looks at the game through the lens of social history, examining the events in major league baseball and the American prison system that led up to the Sing Sing game.

Clinton Historical Society President Cynthia Koch talks about the jobs programs of the New Deal and their lasting contributions to our national life.

Presented by Peter Bunten, chairman of the Mid-Hudson Antislavery History Project. A native of Poughkeepsie, he lectures on the local history of slavery, the antislavery movement, and the Underground Railroad. In the middle decades of the 18th Century, Quaker communities – such as the Creek Meeting – were spreading across eastern Dutchess County and to points beyond. The area would go on to boast the largest settlement of Quakers outside Philadelphia. Almost from the beginning, these Quakers – along with their neighbors – found themselves at the forefront of the slavery-antislavery debate. We’ll explore some of the cultural and political aspects of this development, which link our local history to national events.

Presented by Ryan J. Orton, Secretary of Dutchess County Pomona Grange #32. The Grange has been a political and social force for rural America since its organization in Washington, in 1867. At one time Dutchess County had 26 Grange units, with the Town of Clinton having the most with three in the hamlets of Clinton Corners, Pleasant Plains, and Schultzville. This program will outline the Grange historically and today, as well as its influence nationally and locally.

Town Historian and Clinton Historical Society Vice-President Craig Marshall will give a virtual presentation of the Town Hall, Library, Masonic Hall, Spooky Hollow schoolhouse and Wing’s Hall – the latter a major social venue in Clinton Corners for almost 50 years!

Presented by Craig Marshall, Clinton Town Historian & CHS Vice President. The Clinton Historical Center includes the Town Hall (1924), the Community Library (1975), court/offices addition (1988), plus the Spooky Hollow Schoolhouse (c1850), and the Masonic Hall (1865). Wing’s Dance Hall, located in Clinton Corners, began in 1907 and was a popular place for social gatherings for 43 years. Craig Marshall portrays John Lyons who bequeathed funds to build the Town Hall in 1924.

Presented by Craig Marshall, Clinton Town Historian & CHS Vice President. Part 1: The history of Schultzville, a historic hamlet in the Town of Clinton, is presented by Theodore “Gus” Schultz (grandson of the founder of Schultzville), as portrayed by Craig Marshall. It covers the period from its founding in 1807 through the early 20th century, displaying many vintage photographs from the CHS archive.
Part 2: Craig Marshall presents the architectural features of the Daniel H. Schultz Victorian house built in 1856 in Schultzville.

Presented by Craig Marshall, Clinton Town Historian & CHS Vice President. This program is a short history of the Hudson River Day Line Company and early steam boating on the Hudson River “presented” by Donald C. Ringwald as portrayed by Craig Marshall in uniform. Don Ringwald (deceased) was bursar of the Day Line Co. and an author of books on Hudson River steamboats and the history of the Hudson River Day Line Company.

Local musician Vito Petroccitto Jr. tells the story of the murder that gave Fiddler’s Bridge Road it’s name. Are you a disbeliever?

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